The Art of Time Blocking

Time blocking? How many of you said, "A-yup ... NO FREAKING WAY!" Well stop, come back!  I promise it's not as scary as it sounds ... I think.

I've mentioned before that I freelance on the side regarding popular business and career self-help books, and last time I talked about Gary Keller's The ONE Thing , I was sharing with you the idea of a habit taking 66 days to hit the sweet spot. And now I'm back to share Keller's thoughts on a concept he calls time blocking.

According to Keller, time blocking is as simple as rigidly scheduling very specific time in your life to work on your ONE Thing (in our case, your awesome project). So, let's say your project is ongoing and will not just be a one-off event. To time block effectively for it, you need to block off the appropriate amount of time every day so your project becomes a habit (though I think even if you started with certain days of the week, that would be a great start). During the block of time that is dedicated to your awesome project, everything else—this includes emails, phone calls, Twitter, Facebook, etc.—must wait. Once you get into the habit of this kind of scheduling, you'll be able to keep it up—or so Keller says.

To take time blocking to the next level of being a lifelong, successful habit, Keller writes: 

1. Time block your time off. Successful people launch their year by taking time out to plan their time off because they know they’ll need it and that they’ll be able to afford it. By planning your time off in advance, you’re managing your work time around your downtime instead of the other way around. Resting is as important as working. 
2. Time block your ONE Thing. Yes, your ONE Thing comes second. Why? Because you can’t happily sustain success in your professional life if you neglect your personal “re-creation” time. The key to making this work is to block time as early as possible in your day. Aim to block fours a day, minimum. If you can do more, then do it.
3. Time block your planning time.  This is when you reflect on where you are and where you want to be. Block an hour each week to review your annual and monthly goals.

 Now, do I think this is the way to go for everyone? No, but when you're trying to figure out how to schedule your time for your awesome project, I think it's a good idea to look at all your options and see what is a good fit for you and your style of doing.